Press Releases

IFC Boots Turkey's Banking Sector With $55 Million Loan Facility to Leading Bank

Corrie Shanahan
Phone:  (202) 473 2258

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


Istanbul, Turkey, October 31, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a US$55 million financing facility to Akbank T.A.S., the oldest and largest private sector bank in Turkey.  The facility consists of a direct IFC long-term project finance facility for $55 million.  IFC will also be mobilizing a B loan for up to $80 million as part of the facility.  In total the size of the IFC facility for Akbank is expected to reach some $200–$240 million via this loan facility and a future bond offering on the international markets.

Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC’s Southern Europe & Central Asia Department, said “IFC’s loan to Akbank reflects our continued commitment to the Turkish financial sector at a time when restructuring efforts have gained considerable momentum in the country.  IFC’s financing to Akbank fills an important need for long-term funding of Turkish banks.  This multi-faceted loan facility will allow Akbank to further strengthen its long-term support to Turkish businesses.”

“The agreement, signed between Akbank and IFC, is a very positive event for the Turkish banking sector, and is an indication that the Turkish economy is on the right track. We are pleased to build on our strong relationship with IFC and to the boost in our long-term lending capability,” said Mr. Zafer Kurtul, the chief executive officer of Akbank.  “In an environment of severe economic crisis, Akbank was able to effectively navigate the contractions in the Turkish banking sector to emerge as the number one bank in Turkey,” he added.

Akbank, Turkey’s oldest private bank, was established in 1948 by Haci Omer Sabanci, the founder of the Sabanci Group.  Currently, Akbank is the largest private sector bank in Turkey in terms of shareholders’ equity, loan portfolio, and total deposits.  As of the first half of the year, the Bank had total assets of $13 billion equivalent, total deposits of $9 billion equivalent and shareholders’ equity of $1.5 billion equivalent.  With a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 35 percent, Akbank is the best capitalized bank in Turkey.

Mr. Zamani noted: “We believe that leading banking institutions like Akbank play a critical role in the long-term health of the Turkish economy and its recovery from financial crisis.  A strong and a well-capitalized banking sector is a key to a stable economy and sustainable economic growth.”

Turkey, IFC’s fifth largest country exposure, accounts for about 4.5 percent of IFC’s global portfolio.  IFC’s portfolio in the country, including amounts mobilized from commercial banks, is close to $1.35 billion.

IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Akbank TAS